To get to the boots I wanted to wear today, I had to unpack an entire suitcase. Boots are not something you put on top of everything else. No, they were tucked away carefully under a week’s worth of clothes. You might be wondering why I didn’t just unpack my clothes as soon as I reached my destination. Or you might be thinking what’s the big deal? You had to do it sooner or later, so why not now?
Because I am still at home. My packed suitcase has been sitting in the corner for several days in anticipation of a trip I plan to take. I know some of you are asking—
out loud undoubtedly—what’s the fun in that? Where’s the sport in by-passing the frantic last minute scurry to figure out what to wear and then see if it all fits? What’s the fun in making sure every outfit coordinates? How boring would it be to discover you remembered everything and wouldn’t get to shop for an essential in an unknown city?
When it comes to travel, I like a plan. When it comes to packing, I like to execute that plan with enough advance warning to have a dirty sweater dry cleaned and full jars of cosmetics secured. I like to pick a color scheme and coordinate pants and tops around a favorite scarf. I plan to keep it simple. I plan to keep it lightweight and compact. I plan to have enough time before I leave to wash all the towels in the house, change the sheets, sweep the floor, take out the trash, straighten the pillows…. Oh, and maybe get to bed at a reasonable hour.
So what happened today?
My plans didn’t include an unscheduled event that called for wearing black. If I had known, I might have handled the boots differently. But who ever knows when it comes to death? For that matter, who ever knows when a myriad of life events may unexpectedly occur?
I was reminded today that my plans, however well intentioned, are simply a guesstimate of what I want to happen. My plans may not work. They may be undone. They may complicate my day instead of making it better.
When I think about life in a comprehensive way, I am glad it doesn’t proceed according to my plans (although I carry a spare set in case anyone is interested). I am glad I am trusting in the one who did make the plan. He is powerful enough to carry his out. He is never blindsided by unforeseen circumstances because nothing escapes his eyes. He is the One who is eternal, the One who exists in the past, the future and the present and named himself I Am.
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified)